JOB VACANCIES: A SIGN OF TOO MANY SHOPPING MALLS IN SINGAPORE

I refer to the report “More job vacancies in 2013 than year before” (Jan 28). The highest number of positions vacant for at least six months was in the service and sales sectors: 8,080 last year, which is alarming.

This number is due to the many new shopping centres in housing estates. I live in Jurong, which has five: IMM, Jurong Point and three new ones, JCube, JEM and Westgate. Do we need that many for the residents of Jurong?

One sees the same brands of goods, food and beverage outlets, and services at these shopping centres. Does having many shopping centres in Singapore really boost our economy, therefore justifying the manpower?

Even if the sector’s current manpower shortage is filled, with new shopping centres in the pipeline the problem will never be solved.

If foreigners fill the vacancies, which employers seem to hope for, as they often complain that Singaporeans shun these jobs, this would further burden our infrastructure, namely, transport, housing and healthcare.

Employers are more concerned about profits, so I hope the Government will be firm on the foreign manpower curbs. Singapore is a mature economy and cannot expect to reach the growth levels of 2004 to 2007.

CAROLINE CHUNG

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